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Instant Runoff Voting and State Rights

This is another blog that started out as a comment on someone else’s blog, and grew out of control. But thats why we have pingbacks.

In a comment on this post on Instant Runoff Voting on Colorless Green Ideas, It seems to me that the “clumsiness” as Adam sees it is elegance as I see it. With IRV, a candidate can never win without a true plurality. If plurality is not reached in the first round, the only the lowest candidate is released, and the votes that went to that candidate are distributed among the second choices of the people who voted for the eliminated candidate as first choice. Its an elegant way to replace the primary and elect people that more closely reflect what the people want, rather than what the people aren’t as afraid of.

I’d like to see IRV in action in one state (why not mine), just to see how it works. Fortunately, people in other states, such as Adam in Kansas, can see how it works for us without actually risking anything themselves. Thats why we need more power to the states and power almost eliminated from the feds – this way, states can experiment with new ideas, and many fewer people get screwed over when a bad idea comes along.

Take universal healthcare, for example. Lets pretend I’m wrong (since that is as close to me being wrong ont his one as you will ever come), and univeral healthcare is one of the best ideas ever. Then some state (say, Kansas) implements it. When everything goes really well (since its a pretend good idea) all the other states will see the light, and take steps to implement a similar system.

However, if if its kept at the federal level, then when the more “progressive” party finally gets their agenda across (I think its only a matter of time), the entire nation will be screwed over at once with very little recourse (ie, I can’t just move out of state to avoid being screwed over by a rapidly degrading healthcare system).

Lets give IRV a chance. Lets give state rights a chance. Instead of advocating national socialized healthcare, do it at a state level. Observe its utter failure at that level. Move on to better things. The most destructive and scariest event in this day and age is the concentration of power in the other Washington (DC), something which, no matter your party affliation or belief system, I think you need to fight against. Implement your progressive or conservative or liberal or socialist or facist or communist ideas in your own state, thank you very much. The only party that wants to give you that right, that responsibility, that power is the Libertarian party at the national level. Let your state govern as the people there see fit, not as the people across the country see fit. Thats what America is supposed to be about.

Where do you stand on IRV?

World’s Shortest Political Quiz – I pegged out the Libertarian side of things. Find out where you stand.

Specer Garrett, 8th District Libertarian for Congress – Fun to read his one position paper…. But I’ll wait for IRV before I give him a shot.

Speaking of which… Washington State Instant Runoff Voting Initiative – Lets give it a shot and see what happens in this state. Bob also has a good blog on IRV. Check out my comments, while you’re at it.

Haiku in Perl

A question about this picture led me to these Haikus in Perl. I was laughing out loud. Yes, I’m a nerd.

Dave vs. Dave

Today, I caught on the tube a debate between Dave Reichert, the Republican running for Washington’s 8th District seat in the United States House of Representitives, and his Democrat opponent, Dave Ross. The seat was formerly held by Republican Jennifer Dunn, a fiscally conservative, socially laisez-faire congresswoman who suited this district and myself fairly well.

Neither candidate had particularly distinguished himself until I actually talked to Dave Ross about a week ago. About the same time, I had heard (albeit briefly) Ross dominating John Carlson of KVI 570 (a conservative talk radio station) on John’s own show. So Ross had gained some points in my book, which he needed because in an information vacuum (which I would have alieviated by election day, regardless) I would have voted for the Republican in this race. But Reichert hadn’t earned any points with me, and so really it was a toss up with the information I had.

Until tonight.

In the debate, Reichert came across as by far the superior candidate. He responded sensibly and instilled confidence in me that he would be a better representitive me and my views than the other Dave. Ross seemed to want to pick a fight while Reichert wanted to have a civil discourse. Reichert won that face off. And while Ross’ comments got the only chuckles during the debate, that may have ended up hurting him in the end.

The main points that I got out of the debate were the following:

  • The Republican attack ads against Dave Ross were basically true: he supports federalized universal healthcare, which is perhaps the worst idea in contemporaryAmerican politics
  • Reichert is pretty much party line on the half-arse solutions that seem mostly designed to throw wrenches in the efforts to impose universal health care: HSAs, MSAs, etc, and the constant “we must lower the cost of healthcare” line which gets old pretty quickly, considering that it comes from both sides of the aisle
  • Dave Ross really does seem to be more about talk, and Reichert more about actually doing things, as the latter asserted in his closing statement
  • Ross is pretty much Party-line semi-anti-Iraq-war: It was the right war for the wrong reasons, we shouldn’t have done it but now that we did oh boy they need armor…

So they are both pretty straightforward representitives of their parties tweaked for the district slightly. And for a district where all we want is another Jennifer Dunn, Reichert is the closer match, and seems to be better suited for the job too.


Theo (4:22:48 PM): hey…
Ryan (4:23:14 PM): yo
Ryan (4:23:17 PM): what’s new?
Theo (4:23:54 PM): just finished my last guard shift in Iraq


Job Security

The upside to being overloaded at work is, I suppose, job security through at least March, in my case. Which is pretty good, considering its double to quadruple the initial 3-6 months I was hired on for initialy. So that gets me at least most of the way towards the bike trip of 2005. And although I don’t think they’d release me at that point for any particular reason, and they might even keep me if I were to take a month or more off. But if they don’t, hey, there’s always Blockbuster. Or something even better.

Maneesh, Again

For the second week in a row, I got to hang out with my good friend Maneesh. This time, we went to Ruby’s at the Redmon Town Center, a 50’s diner rumored to abound with hot women. Well, we were duly impressed upon arriving. The hostess, Molly, was very nice to look at, especially as she seated us. But, our waitress, alas, not so much. The food wasn’t particularly redeeming either. My burger was somewhat undercooked, though juicy, and the milk shake was pretty blah. There’s always the hope of something a little better in both categories next time – that is, if I ever go again. But… well, Maneesh and I be pretty forgiving, under the right circumstances. If you know what I mean.